Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Life is too short to work with jerks"

The day I spent in Tom Peters Master class yesterday (Wednesday) in London was just amazing.

I have long held on to an ambition of 25 years to see Tom in action ‘live’ as it were and there are very few human beings who could retain my attention for over 6 hours in a day.

Tom spoke in 4 sessions of 90 minutes each with a short refreshment break between them and a lunch hour.

There were many Peters ‘gems’ and it is hardly fair to try and summarise such a wonderful day in a few words. Suffice to say that he held the attention of an audience of 500 people all day.

It was great to hear Tom talk passionately about how ‘Excellence’ has come back into the vocabulary of management 25 years after ‘In Search of Excellence’ his first book.

I was delighted to hear his rants about healthcare and how hospitals are unhealthy places to be. His strong language about ‘killing people’ in hospitals may have upset some people. Those who know Tom’s work will realise he uses such emotive language to emphasise his point. He does not hold back when criticism is justified and many times during the day he pleaded for people who disagreed with his views to challenge him about them. It was very significant that no one among the 500 senior business executives took up the challenge.

Whether people like Tom Peters or not is immaterial really. One thing you have to say about Tom is that he will make you think. He forces you to question many of your assumptions and he will try to alert you to the current challenges we all face in the business world.

I made many notes during the day and searching through them I came across two that are probably my favourites.

Number One

“I am often asked - How long does it take to become excellent? The answer is 1 minute – excellence is a commitment to yourself”

Number Two

‘Life is too short to work with jerks’

I say Amen to both of those profound yet simple thoughts.


Steve Sherlock said...

Trevor, I am glad you got to see Tom. I had the pleasure of catching his keynote address at a conference a few years ago. His dynamic and energetic presentation sets up for his message to hit home hard.

I am willing to wager that the day with Tom will provide more opportunities for connections than just this one posting. And I look forward to those connections!

CCz said...

Trevor, I am glad you got to see Tom. I hope to see some pictures soon, after nucking Wanadoo.

Anonymous said...

Life is indeed too short to work with jerks. Which is just one of the many reasons I'm blissfully self-employed. It is wonderful to be able to only work with people you actually like interacting with! :)

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Monica and I agree with you. I have been self-employed only 18 months but it feels like a liberated life! I now have to work to eat but it is truly wonderful to have the freedom to choose who I work with. I feel blessed.

Anonymous said...

Trevor, welcome to the ranks of the truly blessed and the daily unemployed! Every day I wake up unemployed, but I'd have it no other way. Cheers!